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Religious Confusion About Salvation

Religious Confusion About Salvation

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Religious Confusion About Salvation

Lunghezza:
151 pagine
2 ore
Pubblicato:
Jan 29, 2014
ISBN:
9781490725697
Formato:
Libro

Descrizione

The title really sums up what this book is all about. Very few people would question that when the word religion is mentioned, the word confusion is not far behind it. And although the word religion could encompass many things, I speak of the Christian religion as found in the Bible. There are very few people that have not heard of the Bible. It is, as most would agree, the Word of God. What they wont agree on is what it says. Although there are many issues in the Bible that are confusing and challenging, I have chosen what I believe is the most important one: how to enter into a saving relationship with God the Father through God the Son (Jesus). For the sake of understanding, I will entitle this Gods plan of salvation. What is it God that wants us to do (obedience) to put our self in a place where He can save us? The Bible teaches us that God sent His only Son (Jesus) into the world that we might be saved by His sacrifice. The Bible also teaches that not everyone will be saved. So it stands to reason that there is something we must do to receive the salvation that God holds out for all. This then is the reason for this book. When considering this issue, it is vitally important to consider the whole of what the Bible has to say on this issue. Many in the Christian world love to pull one verse from its content and form Gods plan (e.g. John 3:16). When writing this work, I considered the entire New Testament.
Pubblicato:
Jan 29, 2014
ISBN:
9781490725697
Formato:
Libro

Informazioni sull'autore

I was born and reared in Baltimore, Maryland, in 1941. I married Jenice in 1961 and raised two children, Bobby and Kimberly. I adopted and reared three grandchildren, Robert, Kayla, and James. I have one granddaughter, Jordyn, and have another grandchild due in June 2014. I accepted Christ at age forty-five. I attended Baltimore Business College for two years. I attended and graduated from Bluefield College of Evangelism in Bluefield, West Virginia, with a BA in ministry. I attended and graduated from Lincoln Christian Seminary in Lincoln, Illinois, with an MA in Old Testament. I am a part-time minister at church in Virginia and a full-time minister at churches in Illinois and Georgia. I retired from full-time ministry in 2004. I am presently serving part-time as executive administrator at church in Richmond Hill, Georgia. I worked with Optimist International club for nine years in youth athletics programs. I received the International President’s Heritage award in 1976. I like to travel, play golf, and restore old cars.

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Religious Confusion About Salvation - Robert Parks

Parks

Order this book online at www.trafford.com

or email orders@trafford.com

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© Copyright 2014 Robert Parks.

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without the written prior permission of the author.

ISBN:

978-1-4907-2568-0 (sc)

ISBN:

978-1-4907-2567-3 (hc)

ISBN:

978-1-4907-2569-7 (e)

Library of Congress Control Number: 2014901551

Because of the dynamic nature of the Internet, any web addresses or links contained in this book may have changed since publication and may no longer be valid. The views expressed in this work are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher, and the publisher hereby disclaims any responsibility for them.

Any people depicted in stock imagery provided by Thinkstock are models,

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Trafford rev. 03/03/2014

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This book is dedicated to the bride of my youth, my soul mate, and my best friend in the flesh, my loving and submissive wife, Jenice. She has always supported everything that I have tried to accomplish for God and His kingdom. May God reward her richly for her efforts.

Contents

Preface

Introduction

Chapter One

Preparing Your Mind For Salvation

Chapter Two

Confusion About Belief

Chapter Three

Confusion About Confession

Chapter Four

Confusion About Repentance

Chapter Five

Confusion About Baptism

Chapter Six

Confusion About Living Faithfully

Conclusion

Bibliography of Works Cited

Preface

W e have all seen the books on the market today that make things easy to understand—for example, Computers for Dummies , Taxes for Dummies , etc. I thought about naming this book Religion for Dummies . But after further thought, I decided that it would be wrong for two reasons: (1) Religion for Dummies would be offensive to God and (2) we read books like those listed above because we want to make things that are terribly difficult easy. God did not inspire men to write the Bible so that it would be hard to understand, especially when it comes to salvation. It is true there are still many mysteries in the Bible that are difficult to understand and will take much time and maturity to answer, but salvation is not one of them. If God had made salvation so difficult that people couldn’t understand it, we might question what kind of God He is, especially in light of a scripture found in 2 Peter 3:9:

The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.

God has not made salvation so difficult that we can’t understand. He has, however, made it so that we will have to examine, study, and pray—not too much to ask, I think, if we truly desire to avoid punishment that awaits everyone who does not accept Christ.

The problem with our world today is that people will not take the necessary time to discover what it is that God wants of us. I have taught some form of Sunday school for over twenty-five years, and every time it is the same. I beg and plead with God to bring more students into the classroom, not because I am such a great teacher, but because I have a great message to teach. We have become content to sit on Sunday mornings and allow the preacher to teach us what he has discovered from the Word of God. I am not saying that this is wrong, unless that is all we do with God’s Word. One of the many parables that Jesus spoke about the kingdom of God is the one labeled as the pearl of great price in Matthew 13:45-46:

Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking beautiful pearls, who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had and bought it.

When we take looking into the Word of God as seriously as that merchant, we will find the great treasure that God wants us to find. The fault lies not in God or His Word; it lies in our lack of desire to know or to study. No, we don’t need a book entitled Religion for Dummies. We have the only book that we need, a book my New Testament professor would describe as sixty-six books of the mind of God.

It has been said that there are two things that man will, without a doubt, argue about. They are politics and religion. The book you are now reading is entitled Religious Confusion, and you would expect that it would be all about religion. Even though it deals with religion, it is about a relationship—a relationship with God the Creator through His precious Son, Jesus Christ, a relationship that is now possible for all who still draw the breath of life because of what God’s only Son, Jesus Christ, has done on the cross.

The problem that arises with people today is that they first have to realize that they are lost. People today, as in days gone by, see no need for a savior. God has not become real to them, and the work of His Son has no meaning to them. Many have heard about the birth of Jesus Christ because of the holiday known as Christmas in which we celebrate that birth. They have heard about the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross and possibly even His resurrection because of our celebration, which has been called Easter. Both of these holidays have been stripped of their significance by the world of marketing. There is so much more to know about Jesus.

So let’s take some time and examine man’s need to be saved. It began in the Garden of Eden. God had created man and woman and given them a perfect place to live and allowed them a perfect relationship with Him. Had Adam and Eve not violated the commandment that God had given them (not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil), that relationship would have continued on forever. But as we all know, they did violate it. Blame the serpent (devil) if you want, but the real blame belongs to Adam and Eve. They had the right and the ability to say no. God made the result of their disobedience very plain before it ever happened. In the day that you eat of it you shall surely die (Gen. 2:17). Since they did not die physically the very day that they ate it, then we must understand that God meant something different. Since the word death means separation, then we can understand that God meant spiritual death (separation from God). Evidence of this is seen when He drove Adam and Eve out of the garden where they had experienced that perfect relationship with Him. There were two reasons God expelled them from the garden: (1) because of the holiness of God, He cannot have any part of sin or be around sin, and (2) since they now had sin in their lives, God did not want them to remain in the garden and have access to the tree of life, which would have afforded them eternal life.

We now live with the result of what Adam and Eve did, in that we shall all die physically one day. We have to work the ground and sweat as we do it to be able to eat of it (Gen. 3:19). We are not punished because of the sin of Adam, but we suffer the results of it. Our own sin will be the cause of our spiritual death (separation from God). Paul, in Romans, gives us several scriptures to make this real:

For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. (Romans 3:23)

So that sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (Romans 5:21)

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 6:23)

The picture I have just painted, if understood correctly, is a bleak one. When one understands this, they must also understand they are in a state of being lost. If nothing is done about it while they are still alive, the future holds a dark reality. But God has not left us without hope, without a way to be forgiven, justified, redeemed, and most of all, saved. God wants to cleanse us and make us new. He wants to afford us the opportunity to be with Him forever as opposed to the alternative. Notice from Romans 6:23 that God has a gift for us, and that gift is eternal life.

Introduction

H ave you ever stood in front of a full-length mirror and admired your body? Our body is the most complex and amazing part of God’s creation. (Ps. 139:14). Nothing else compares to it. The part that stands out the most resides in the cavity of our skulls. These three pounds of matter is like nothing else found on earth. As complex as it is, though, it has been stated that a majority of the human race uses only a small percentage of its total capacity. ¹ When we look around this world and see what man has been able to achieve using a small percentage of it, I can’t help but wonder what would happen if man could tap into all of it. From the religious perspective, it’s probably better that we can’t. My reason for saying this is because of what man has done to the Word of God, using a small portion. To see how man has twisted, ignored, misused, and misunderstood the Word of God must be very painful for God. I challenge you as you begin reading this book to use your brain to lead you to a better life while you are here on this earth, and more importantly, allow it to lead you to eternal life with God the Father and His blessed Son, Jesus Christ.

Very few people would argue about how great it is to live in America. The resources that we have are overwhelming at times. There is much in our country to occupy our time, and that seems to be the compulsive drive of people today. These are the kinds of questions that people ask themselves today: What can I do to occupy my time? What can I do to amuse myself today or even tomorrow? What is so amazing to me is the time and money we spend on things that don’t mean a hill of beans. One such incident in my life will illustrate the point. My wife loves an ice cream dish called a Jim Dandy. It consists of five scoops of ice cream with bananas and toppings. You find this treat in the restaurants named Friendly’s. In Maryland, where we both were born and reared, they are plentiful. But when we started moving around, they became more difficult to find. After living in Georgia for several years, we heard that there was one in Beaufort, South Carolina. So we decided to take a trip to Beaufort to find it. We found it, ate there, and then Jenice enjoyed her Jim Dandy. For some reason, I decided to analyze what we had done. We drove 180 miles, spending about $10 for gas (when gas was $1 a gallon) and $26 for the meal. Someone reading this will probably laugh about how silly that might have been, but I bet that if you were to examine your life, you will discover that you have done something similar and probably much more extravagant and costly. My point is this: we

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